Story of a Stamp Dealer (Chapter 10)
MAKING AN EXHIBITION OF OURSELVES
I’ve mentioned our first exhibitions at Aldridge and Cambridge, while we were at Bedford in Chapter 1. Once we moved to Hythe we gradually extended our range. Often we would pack up after school on the Friday evening and do two shows over a weekend, Saturday & Sunday. As you can imagine it was hard work bearing in mind school first thing Monday morning!
One weekend stands out, we started at Deal, Kent which was OK. As usual a local vicar looked longingly at some rare GB FDC, but as usual, saying he would think about them, which was par for the course, he never actually bought any!
We then went to Alexandra Palace on the Sunday. I mentioned Henry Murray as well in previous Chapters; he was in a feud with his ex-partner, both trading under the name Arlington. He apparently decided to embarrass the Arlington’s by doing what I had done at Cambridge, without meaning to, by selling cheap.
He arrived (well, an old man carried an enormous trunk in) and once on his stand Henry threw open the lid with the sign saying everything 25p each. The locusts descended (me first, of course! King locust) and had a field day. Ironically as we had bought 40% of the covers before the show opened his idea backfired, but believe me I was very pleased with my purchases!
Meanwhile, Cath was approached by a new dealer in GB FDC who was apparently going to put us in our place. he bought about 10 rare covers for a few thousand pounds writing the cheque with a flourish. It wasn’t long before he couldn’t write cheques by himself, as they say, ‘buying is the easy part.’
By Tony Buckingham